Well, I am finally through the prereqs section of the graph theory book. Although I didn't do the final problem set, I should have a good enough grasp on the subjects to make use of them.
I am currently considering using kinematics for animation in the SHMUP rather than dynamics, which would allow me to temporarily skip most of this math. Kinematics is basically hard-coded movement, where dynamics is more physics-based. Gamers know these as arcade games and simulation games respectively.
We are also redesigning the SHMUP so that it will be easier to create. This means that I shouldn't have to make many test projects, and I can jump right back in to coding the "real" game.